Yesterday, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff delivered an engaging and enlightening speech at FreedomFest here in Las Vegas. The listeners, ranging from college students to concerned parents to frustrated alumni, were "entertained" with examples of some of FIRE’s most outrageous cases that Torch readers know all too well–at Brandeis University, Valdosta State University, IUPUI, and the University of Delaware, to name just a few. Greg also shared with the audience the ways that an entire generation is being miseducated about liberty:
Few Americans are fully aware of the scale of violations of student and faculty rights. … [w]hat we fail to grasp is that PC censorship is just one part of a profound and systemic miseducation process that has potentially dire long-term consequences for our democracy. … FIRE co-founder Alan Charles Kors put what’s at stake this way: "A nation that does not educate in liberty will not long preserve it, and will not even know when it is lost."
Greg noted in particular the negative influence of excessive political correctness, a bureaucracy of administrators themselves uneducated in liberty, the increased reliance on a "risk management" approach to student conduct, and excessive fear of litigation as contributing factors in the repression of individual rights on college campuses today.
Hopefully, what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas, and the conference attendees will return home to share FIRE’s message with their families and friends. We have had a fantastic time meeting everyone here at FreedomFest, and we are already looking forward to next year.